FOUND > Gauguin Sketch Worth $267,000

Initially dismissed as a copy... then found to be real

The 'study sketch' helped create Gauguin's masterpiece ‘When Will You Marry?’ (pictured).

September 30, 2017
By Janina Myn Villapando, Contributing Author for What Sells Best

UNITED KINGDOM (VIDEO) – The Irish News reports, a small drawing found by the BBC’s Fake Or Fortune? team is an original ‘study sketch’ by Paul Gauguin, and valued at $267,000 (£200,000). The owner had no idea of its authenticity or value.


The charcoal and pencil drawing by the 19th century French artist Paul Gauguin is a ‘study sketch’ for one of the characters in his most famous painting. A ‘study sketch’ is a practice piece where artists try out an idea before committing it on canvas.

The final painting, a Tahitian masterpiece entitled, 'When Will You Marry?' became one of the most expensive paintings in the world when it sold for nearly $300 million in 2015.

Initially dismissed as a copy when the owner took it to an auction house in 2012, the drawing, Crouching Woman, was found to be authentic. Further research showed that this family heirloom was inherited from the owner’s grandfather, Dr. Alfred Scharf, an art historian who came to live in Britain after fleeing Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Furthermore, clues on the labels on the back of the picture revealed that it was originally part of a collection of Francisco “Paco” Durrio, Gaugin’s close friend and to whom he sent a book of Tahitian sketches before leaving Paris for a life in Tahiti. The drawing was later owned by Sir Winston Churchill’s cousin.

With all the evidence and the detailed analysis of the sketch proving it was an original work, Philip Mould, the presenter of the BBC One show estimated that it could be worth more than £200,000. He added, “this is a particularly wonderful find for the show and marvelous for the owner who could so easily have badly lost out.”


Paul Gauguin is an internationally acclaimed artist whose works are among the most sought after pieces by collectors. His masterpieces can fetch tens to hundreds of millions of dollars at auction.

Small details make a huge difference in the prices of rare items like drawings and sketches. If you found something or you have something in your possession, check with the experts on our free appraisals page.


At this time, there is no news regarding the possible sale of the sketch. We’ll keep you posted!


See if you can to spot a bargain among sketches listed online, on ebay (research prices). Also see; Top 25: Art Items on ebay, worldwide, right now (links open on ebay).

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